Introduction to Computer Science (Fall 2017)
Course: Introduction to Computer Science (CH08-320101)
Instructor: Jürgen Schönwälder
TA: Steven Abreu, Malte Aaron Granderath, Alexandru Hambasan, Tudor Cristian Maiereanu, Mohit Shrestha, Mihail Tarigradschi
Tuesday 08:15 - 09:30 Lecture Hall Research II
Tuesday (Tutorials) 09:45 - 11:00 Lecture Hall Research II
Thursday 11:15 - 12:30 Lecture Hall Research II
Start: September 5, 2017

The course covers the fundamental concepts and techniques of computer science in a bottom-up manner. Based on clear mathematical foundations (which are developed as needed) the course discusses abstract and concrete notions of computing machines, information, and algorithms, focusing on the question of representation versus meaning in Computer Science.

To develop a theoretical notion of computation, we introduce basic concepts of discrete mathematics with a focus on inductively defined structures. The functional programming language Haskell will be introduced and used as the primary programming language for the course. We cover a basic subset of Haskell that includes types, recursion, tuples, lists, strings, and higher-order functions. Back on the theoretical side, we cover the syntax and semantics of Boolean expressions and we explain how Boolean algebra relates to logic gates and digital circuits. On the technical side, we introduce the representation of basic data types such as numbers, characters, strings and dates as well as the basics of computer architecture and assembly programming. On the algorithmic side, the course introduces the notion of correctness and elementary complexity theory (big-O notation) and we introduce abstract data types.

Course Materials:
Tue (08:15)Thu (11:15)Topics
2017-09-05 2017-09-07 Introduction and maze generation algorithms
2017-09-12 2017-09-14 String search algorithms, complexity and correctness
2017-09-19 2017-09-21 Mathematical notations and proof techniques
2017-09-26 2017-09-28 Sets, relations, and functions
2017-10-03 2017-10-05 Representation of integer and floating point numbers
2017-10-10 2017-10-12 Representation of characters, strings, date and time
2017-10-17 2017-10-19 Boolean operations and expressions
2017-10-24 2017-10-26 Boolean algebra and normal forms
2017-10-31 2017-11-02 Boolean expression minimization and Boolean logic
2017-11-07 2017-11-09 Logic gates, basic digital circuits, von Neuman computer architecture
2017-11-14 2017-11-16 Assembly programming, interpreter, compiler
2017-11-21 2017-11-23 Operating systems, processes, file systems, communication
2017-11-28 2017-11-30 Finite state machines, pushdown automata and turing machines, formal languages
2017-12-05 2017-12-07 Computability theory and complexity theory
Tue (09:45)Topics
2017-09-12 Haskell Tutorial (Alexandru)
2017-09-19 Shell Tutorial (Steven)
2017-09-26 Haskell Tutorial (Alexandru)
2017-10-10 Lecture (moved from 2017-10-05)
2017-10-17 Haskell Tutorial (Alexandru)
2017-10-24 Grand Tutorial
2017-11-14 Haskell Tutorial (Alexandru)
2017-11-21 Haskell Tutorial (Alexandru)
2017-12-05 Grand Tutorial
Tue (11:00)TopicsLocation
2017-12-12 Grand Tutorial (Practice Sheet) CS Lecture Hall, Research I
Fri20:00-21:00Mercator CollegeMihail Tarigradschi
Sat20:00-21:00Krupp CollegeMohit Shrestha
Sun14:30-15:30Nordmetall Conference RoomAlexandru Hambasan
Sun16:00-17:00Mercator Conference RoomTudor Cristian Maiereanu
Sun20:00-21:00College 3 QSAMalte Aaron Granderath
Mon20:00-21:00College 3 QSASteven Abreu
2017-09-12Quiz #1administrivia, mazes, kruskal's algorithm
2017-09-19Quiz #2complexity, correctness, software engineering, mathematical notation
2017-09-19Problem Sheet #1boyer moore bad character rule, haskell factorial
2017-09-26Quiz #3proof techniques
2017-09-26Problem Sheet #2proof by contrapositive and by induction
2017-10-03Problem Sheet #3sets and relations
2017-10-10Quiz #4relations, functions, recursion
2017-10-10Problem Sheet #4order relations, function composition
2017-10-17Quiz #5units, prefixes, characters, date and time
2017-10-17Problem Sheet #5number systems, floating point numbers
2017-10-24Quiz #6boolean algebra and logic
2017-10-26Midterm Exam(Eastwing)
2017-10-31Problem Sheet #6boolean expressions, tower of hanoi
2017-11-07Quiz #7normal forms, complexity of boolean functions, quine-mccluskey
2017-11-07Problem Sheet #7quine-mccluskey algorithm
2017-11-14Quiz #8von Neumann computer architecture
2017-11-14Problem Sheet #8half and full adder, ripple carry adder and carry lookahead adder
2017-11-21Quiz #9assembly programming, interpreter, compiler
2017-11-21Problem Sheet #9assembly programming
2017-11-28Quiz #10operating systems
2017-11-28Problem Sheet #10fold functions, processes
2017-12-05Quiz #11automata (bonus)
2017-12-05Problem Sheet #11automata and formal languages (bonus)
2017-12-16Final Exam09:00-11:00 East Wing (closed book)
2018-02-10Makeup Final Exam14:00-16:00 CS Lecture Hall (closed book)


The final grade is made up of the final exam (30 %), quizzes (30 %), the midterm exam (20%) and homework assignments (20 %). It is required to submit the solution for homeworks assignments electronically. Late submissions will not be accepted. Homeworks may need to be defended in an oral interview.

Any programs which have to be written will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • correctness including proper handling of error conditions
  • proper use of programming language constructs
  • clarity of the program organization and design
  • readability of the source code and any output produced

Source code must be accompanied with a README providing an overview of the source files and giving instructions how to build the programs. A suitable Makefile is required if the build process involves more than a single source file.

For any questions stated on assignment sheets, quiz sheets, exam sheets or during makeups, we by default expect a reasoning for the answer given, unless explicitely stated otherwise.